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Chairman Neal Floor Speech on H.R. 5376—Build Back Better Act

(As prepared for delivery)

M. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of the Build Back Better Act.

I am proud of the significant contributions that the Ways and Means Committee has made to this monumental package. With these provisions we will make transformational investments in families, workers, and the fight against climate change.  

Getting to this point has not been fast or easy and some might say it’s even been a bit messy, but that’s what Democracy looks like. We have examined the issues, have had thoughtful – even spirited– debate, and we have refined our proposals.

Since 2019, we have held over 40 hearings related to the topics addressed by these provisions and we have heard out every stakeholder who approached us. Over the course of 40 hours of Committee markup we thoroughly debated this package and considered 60 amendments. And in the three months since we passed our historic package out of the Ways and Means Committee, we have further refined our policies and made hard compromises in the interest of accomplishing great things for the American people.     

This is how the best legislation is developed.

There is not enough time to detail every policy in this package, but I want to highlight just a few that I am particularly proud of.

First and foremost, we fought hard to include universal paid family and medical leave to finally put an end to workers’ impossible choice between providing for their family and caring for them.

We also invest in making health care more affordable by extending the enhanced Affordable Care Act premium subsidies that we approved in the American Rescue Plan earlier this year.

We close the Medicaid coverage gap, which will allow roughly 4 million uninsured Americans to gain access to coverage.

Finally, I am very proud of the historic investments we make in supporting the development and deployment of green energy. Our green tax policies put us on the path to a sustainable future, help cut carbon emissions, and create good, well-paying jobs across the country.

This is an ambitious package that makes major investments in our economy, workers, and families. But it’s also responsible and it meets the moment. The Ways and Means Committee fully funds all these priorities by asking the biggest corporations and the very wealthiest individuals to contribute just a bit more to the nation that provided them with the opportunity to have such substantial success.

I urge all of my colleagues to support this historic legislation that will allow our nation to build back better and stronger, and I reserve the balance of my time.



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